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Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I'd been waiting to brew this, for the weather to cool off a bit. My fermentation area is warmer than in the old house, and I've had to improvise a system of cement mixing trays filled with ice and then water, shirts over the carboys and a fan to control fermentation temperatures.

Even then, in August, the basement was far too warm to brew a Trippel. I learned this back in 1996 or so, when I brewed my first example of this style.

Initially I was excited that the beer had all these banana and clove aromatics, but the beer gave me a headache. Those nasty higher alcohols that are produced when you ferment at 80ºF+, and tons of them because the original gravity is so high.

And really, those funky Belgian beer flavors and aromas, restraint is the way. A little is nice, a lot is obnoxious. These beers should be balanced.

It took me a long time to get starch conversion. I think my mash was cooler than I measured it initially, maybe warmer near the top where I can reach with the thermometer. I thought I'd done a thorough job of mixing in, but maybe not.

The purple on the plate, that's starch. Should have been sugar by the time this picture was taken, about 90 minutes after mashing in.

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